Hello, I'm Ash Roughani and I'm a generalist.

I'm a systems thinker who enjoys bringing people together to solve complex problems through creativity, innovation, and design. I see patterns and connections where others don't, and use that skill to develop and execute disruptive strategies. In short, I'm a change agent making the world a better place by humanizing our interaction with products, services, and, ultimately, each other.



I’m committed to helping people and making a difference in their lives. I use empathy as a tool to see things from the perspective of others and develop ways to make our interactions more human.


I believe in building things with people, not just for people. This goes beyond mere collaboration. When the users of a product or service are involved in the development process, it’s more likely to make a real difference.


I believe that openness and transparency take the friction out of collaboration and help us better understand how to balance our diverse interests. Together we can maximize the possibilities for mutual benefit by being our authentic selves.


I believe trust within organizations is critical to developing creative solutions. When we don’t trust each other, we impose rules that inhibit new approaches to solving problems and fear the audacity of hope.


I believe that we can always do better and that continuous innovation helps organizations adapt to an accelerating velocity of change in the world. To innovate, we must constantly work to connect the dots.


I am not afraid to fail. Now, you might be afraid if we fail, but I’ve learned strategies to experiment without bearing significant risk. I can help us collect insights to guide future actions by always being in beta.


I believe organizations are communities and that the strength of an organization depends on how tightly woven the community is. When we build teams of people who share a common vision, we nurture our communities.


I believe that when things don’t go according to plan, we can and should bounce back quickly. Sometimes we need a change in strategy without a change in vision. Other times a plan isn’t even appropriate in the first place.


I’m a T-shaped generalist with a broad diversity of skills and deep subject matter expertise in public administration and civic innovation. I improve the methods, tools, and services by which citizens interact with public agencies, civic organizations, and each other. Here are the roles that have kept me busy in my professional career:

Professional Roles

  • Program Manager

    City of Sacramento, Mayor's Office for Innovation & Entrepreneurship
    May 2016 to present

    Advancing policies, processes, resources, and incentives to build Sacramento's startup pipeline, engage the innovation ecosystem, and make City Hall open for business.

  • Freelance Videographer + Web Developer

    ashrock | digital
    July 2011 to present

    Helping organizations and brands tell their stories through compelling visual, cross-platform communications. I do just about everything, but specialize in video production and user experience design.

  • Senior Associate

    California Forward
    January 2008 to July 2011

    Advanced critical governance/structural reform policies for the state of California related to elections, the budget process, and civic engagement. Performed strategic planning, data analysis, and public policy development.

  • Executive Fellow + Policy Analyst

    CA Business, Transportation & Housing Agency
    December 2006 to December 2007

    Advised executive staff in the Schwarzenegger Administration on a variety of public policy issues facing the agency, which oversees many of the largest departments in the state. Led the implementation of an Executive Order to expand broadband deployment by streamlining the permitting process and helped state agencies better collaborate.

  • Legislative Intern

    CA Fair Political Practices Commission
    June 2006 to August 2006

    Analyzed and tracked legislation, and served as assistant press secretary.

  • Campus Coordinator

    Democracy Matters
    August 2005 to May 2006

    Built a grassroots coalition on the CSU Sacramento campus to advocate for campaign finance reform.

  • Research Intern

    Caliornia Common Cause
    June 2004 to August 2004

    Analyzed campaign finance data and developed content for public reports.

Startups and Other Projects

  • Interim Director

    Region Technology
    May 2016

    Helped spin up Region Technology, a trade association of Region Business for the technology industry and other related firms.

  • Founder

    Delivery Unit
    September 2015 to present

    Leading an early-stage enterprise software-as-a-service startup focused on performance management automation for government and nonprofit organizations.

  • California Health Data Ambassador

    California Health Data Project
    March 2015 to March 2016

    Built a bridge between the California Health & Human Services Agency's open data team and local health data stakeholders. Identified community needs and guided product development.

  • Head of Product

    December 2014 to present

    Sac2050 is the next phase of Public Innovation. We're engaging the public to develop a shared vision for the Sacramento region. That vision will be translated into measurable goals to support the development of a civic operating system to track progress toward those goals. In addition, we will link the programs and activities of public and nonprofit organizations with their social impact.

  • Founder

    Code for Sacramento
    December 2012 to present

    As a Code for America Brigade, we're part of a national network of civic-minded volunteers who contribute their skills toward using the web as a platform for local government and community service.

  • Founder

    Public Innovation
    August 2012 to November 2014

    Laid the foundation for a nascent civic innovation and social entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Sacramento region. Developed civic technology products, incubated civic projects, empowered change agents, and brought people together to solve public problems and improve the citizen experience. Ultimately, we could not create sufficient market demand to sustain a civic incubator in Sacramento, so we pivoted to product-focused model with advent of Sac2050.

  • Production Lead

    June 2012 to present

    Lead for event b-roll and promotional video production.


  • Master of Business Administration

    UC Davis

    Did not complete
  • Master of Public Poicy and Administration

    Sacramento State

    December 2008
  • Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy

    UC Santa Barbara

    June 2005



Policy Development Policy Analysis Strategic Planning Open Data Open Government Civic Innovation Social Innovation Data Analysis Performance Measurement


Market Segmentation/Positioning Content Development/Strategy Content Marketing Product Management Strategic Communications Organizational Design Public Relations Public Affairs


Empathy Prototyping Wireframing Ethnography User Research Graphic Design Usability Testing Copywriting/Editing Process/Service Design Information Architecture User Experience Design Human-Computer Interaction


Videography Photography Adobe Lightroom Adobe Photoshop Adobe Premiere Pro Adobe Audition Web/Social Analytics HTML/CSS Ruby on Rails Jekyll


Leadership Development Enterprise Collaboration Community Outreach Change Management Social Entrepreneurship Public Engagement


React.js Python Adobe After Effects